This course will engage readings in Islamic law through focusing on two components. The first will be to cover Muslim devotional law or the fiqh of Worship with a focus on the topics purity, prayer, and fasting. This component of the course will be especially important to gaining essential practical knowledge for students enrolled in the Islamic chaplaincy program.
Questions such as how a prison chaplain can negotiate the concerns of Muslim inmates whose movements are limited and how hospital chaplains can navigate religious practice in these unique settings will be addressed. Other essential knowledge for chaplains such as the integrals of the Friday Prayer, Funeral Prayer, and Eid Prayer will be studied. The course will take the Shāfiʿī legal school as its beginning frame of reference, although different legal opinions will also be discussed on a general level as they come up. It will be an opportunity for advanced students of fiqh already proficient in one school of law to expand their field of expertise and/or review what they have already learned, while providing a framework for students beginning in fiqh to study the subject systematically.
The second component of the course will be to read secondary sources on various aspects of Islamic law and its relation to modernity. These readings will be discussed in class.